GECB: Preliminary Look Shows 90% of Spoiled Ballots Caused by Crossing Over to Vote for Delegate

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Guam – At the Guam Election Commission Board [GECB] meeting Thursday, Board member Joseph Mesa said that based on initial observations,  90% of the spoiled ballots in the September Primary were caused by voters who crossed over from the republican side of the ballot to vote for the only candidate running in the delegate race, Democrat Madeleine Bordallo.

The Primary Election ballot boxes were re-opened on October 7th so that the spoiled ballots could be examined to determine what caused the high percentage of errors.

However, GEC Executive Director John Blas said a report on the spoiled ballot count had not yet been finalized. The outcome of the examination will have no impact on the Primary election results which will remain unchanged.

The GEC Board also discussed how they would comply with Wednesday’s District Court Order extending the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots in the Guam Delegate’s Race until November 15th.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that the GEC had violated the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) which requires absentee ballots be sent out to Guam Service members stationed overseas 45 days before the November 2 General Election. She ordered the extension until November 15th to make up for GEC’s delay in getting the absentee ballots out.

Some members expressed concerns about how the extended absentee vote count would be handled. GEC Legal Counsel Rawlen Mantanona said he would be filing his compliance report with the District Court by this Saturday.

Board member Martha Ruth also raised the issue of  home-bound voting for ill and bed ridden residents and the need to better educate the public about it. Attorney Caesar Cabot explained that home-bound voting policy is valid and was established 22 years ago.

There was also discussion on how GEC can deputize precinct officials to go out and conduct the homebound voting process.

The Board then went into Executive Session to continue their discussions on their future office space and the eviction notice from GCIC management.

The GEC Board plans to meet again sometime next week.